Political roundup

Rush: “Would somebody explain to me how it is that you make poor people rich by making rich people poor?”

Colin Powell endorses Obama.

Roger L. Simon isn’t impressed, and adds,

  Meanwhile, Obama’s real, quite verifiable and public religious background (and mentor) was not even mentioned by the Secretary of State – namely, the execrable Reverend Wright. That is far more disconcerting than some vague Muslim association (whether by birth or otherwise) and indicates a lack of judgment on Obama’s part that any person of gravitas (like a Colin Powell) should find difficult, almost impossible, to defend. Yet the racist Wright, we all know, was Obama’s chosen minister for twenty years, married him, baptized his children, gave him spiritual guidance and provided the inspiration for his memoirs – even the title of the second one. It’s hard to imagine a closer relationship with a pastor, except perhaps a spousal one.

Obama polls seem to be post-peaking, even though he has raised more than $.6 billion. David Bernstein says the Democrats should be cautious about declaring an early victory.

Josh Marshall agrees. “Stripped down to its components McCain’s message to voters is this: ‘Don’t forget. He’s definitely black. And he may be a terrorist.’ That’s the message.” With pals like Michael Savage, pointing to jive like this, kinda seems that way.

Here’s a transcript of one (the only? dunno) McCain robo-call:

  Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country. This call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500.

Garrison Keillor on Sarah Palin:

  It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges: The lady is talking freely about matters she has never thought about. The American people have an ear for B.S. They can tell when someone’s mouth is moving and the clutch is not engaged.

Virginia Postrel on portraiture and partisanship:

  Partisans demand that magazine portraits glamorize their heroes for the same reason my friend hired a professional photographer. Humans seem hard-wired to assume that good-looking means good and, conversely, to equate physical flaws with character flaws. We may preach that beauty is skin deep, but we’re equally certain that portraits “reveal character.” In a media culture, we not only judge strangers by how they look but by the images of how they look. So we want attractive pictures of our heroes and repulsive images of our enemies.

6 comments

  1. Don’s avatar

    Your round up reminds me of one thing this election year. Just when I thought it could not get any weirder, wilder, etc. another day dawns and reveals more political news, spin and intrigue.

  2. Julian Bond’s avatar

    What if you consider The WeatherMen to be cultural heroes? Turn On. Tune In. Drop Out. And Fight The Man. Time for some postmodern deconstruction of the memes I think as this election takes on mythic proportions.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Julian,

    The greatest and most effective movements on behalf of social justice in the history of the U.S. were nonviolent ones. Sadly, nonviolence as a political and social strategy died with Martin Luther King in 1968.

    What the Weathermen did was evil and wrong, even if it was for a worthy cause: opposing the Vietnam war and oppression in general.

    I was part of the counterculture back then, such as it was. I had no desire then to make the Weathermen cultural heroes, and see no need to reconstruct them in that role today.

    I also think the McCain campaign is trying to win by smearing its opponent rather than burnishing its own candidate. This, of course, is typical. And it has worked many times in the past, most notably for both the Bushes.

    I’m hoping it fails this time. But I’m not so sure. I think the election is going to be close.

  4. Ed Brenegar’s avatar

    Every time I think it is going to be close, one of my Obama supporter friends says something that tells me we are living in the surreal. These are people who don’t have any interest in politics, and yet, Obama is who they want to discuss.
    I’m becoming convinced that Obama will win this election, and based on what my friends tell me, will not be the typical President. I wonder if the Democrats realize that yet. Will they long for the days of Bill and Hill just as the old country club Republicans longed for the days of Eisenhower when Reagan took office?
    The question is whether he plays to his past base, liberal Democrats, or establishes a broader, more centrist base that changes the landscape of governing.
    I was going to go vote in the morning, I think I’ll wait a couple days and see what happens.

  5. Doc Searls’s avatar

    I don’t see Obama supporters as monolithic. They range from disaffected Republicans to moonbeam Democrats, with deviations from the wavy line between those two points. Some, such as I, see him as what Colin Powell called a “transformational” figure. That is, a constructive and responsible “none of the above” who might actually get elected, do a good job at a bad time, and restore some of America’s lost stature in the world. I also think the GOP needs to return to its reasonable small-government roots, and drop the big-spending pro-war neocon Christianist moralizing. Others just see Obama as a better choice than the cranky bastard that McCain seems to have become.

    In any case, I can’t wait until it’s over.

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